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review 2019-09-09 11:00
New Release Review! The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) G.A. Aiken!

 

 

 

Good Morning, Readers! Today I am starting off the week with a visit to the Hill Lands where the Old King has died and a prophecy about a new queen has emerged. Enjoy and don't forget to add The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken to your shelves!

 

 

 

 

When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.  

 

The Old King Is Dead

 

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. 

 

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

 

 

 

The Old King has died and a prophecy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills has emerged and the king’s sons are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers including each other. Blacksmith Keeley Smythe is benefiting from the war until it looks like the chosen queen will be her younger sisters, now it’s all she can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily she doesn’t have to fight alone, because the clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amicahi have joined the quest.

 

The author has given her fascinating world life once again with some truly wonderful additional elements that readers can definitely appreciate. The dragons may not be a full part of this story, but it takes place in the same world, just a different part. The characters of this new series are strong and blood thirsty as the others and there definitely grab all of the reader’s attention from the very beginning. While Keeley reminds readers of the Human Queen, she has her own refreshing personality that readers can definitely enjoy and the budding relationship that is building between her and Caid promises to be epic.

 

This fast paced story is full of adventure, suspense, excitement and emotional angst, but the way these characters deal with that turmoil can be a bit frightening as well as charming. The author makes this blood thirsty world seem so very reasonable that readers can’t help but have fun and be delighted with the captivating characters, which includes centaurs, dwarves, barbarians, witches, and wild horses, while they are completely enthralled by this riveting and exhilarating adventure.

 

 

 

Author's Book Page

 

 

Goodreads   *   BookLikes   *   BookBub

 

Riffle   *   Romance.io   *   GBooks 

 

 

 

 

The Blacksmith Queen is the 1st book in The Scarred Earth Saga.

 

Based in the same universe as the Dragon Kin series, the Scarred Earth world introduces you to the women, men, and centaurs of the Hill Lands and the treacherous rulers fighting for control.

 

 

Goodreads   

 

 

The Scarred Earth takes place in the same universe as the Dragon Kin!

 

 

 

AVAILABLE in print, ebook or audio

 

Amazon   *   B&N   *   Kobo   iBooks   *   GPlay

 

BookDepo   *   IndieBound   *   Kindle   *   BaM

 

Nook   *   RecordedBooks   *   Target 

 

Kensington >   Trade   *   ebook 

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author G.A. Aiken, Originally from Long Island, New York, lives on the West Coast and spends most of her time writing and making sure her rescued Pittie doesn’t love everyone into a coma. When she’s not writing about sexy dragons, she’s writing about sexy wolf, lion, tiger, and other fang-filled predators under the name Shelly Laurenston. Find out more about this New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors books at www.shellylaurenston.com.

 

 

Website   *   Facebook   *   Amazon  

 

BookBub   *   Goodreads

 

 

 

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review 2019-09-06 03:40
5 Star Blacksmith Queen
The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) - G.A. Aiken

 

The Old King has died and a prophecy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills has emerged and the king’s sons are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers including each other. Blacksmith Keeley Smythe is benefiting from the war until it looks like the chosen queen will be her younger sisters, now it’s all she can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily she doesn’t have to fight alone, because the clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amicahi have joined the quest.

 

The author has given her fascinating world life once again with some truly wonderful additional elements that readers can definitely appreciate. The dragons may not be a full part of this story, but it takes place in the same world, just a different part. The characters of this new series are strong and blood thirsty as the others and there definitely grab all of the reader’s attention from the very beginning. While Keeley reminds readers of the Human Queen, she has her own refreshing personality that readers can definitely enjoy and the budding relationship that is building between her and Caid promises to be epic.

 

This fast paced story is full of adventure, suspense, excitement and emotional angst, but the way these characters deal with that turmoil can be a bit frightening as well as charming. The author makes this blood thirsty world seem so very reasonable that readers can’t help but have fun and be delighted with the captivating characters, which includes centaurs, dwarves, barbarians, witches, and wild horses, while they are completely enthralled by this riveting and exhilarating adventure.

 

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review 2019-06-09 01:56
Not quite as fun as the first.
Hocus & Pocus: The Search for the Missing Dwarves (Hocus & Pocus #2) - Gorobei

I didn't enjoy this as much as the first one. The use of the siblings is still in force, and each one gets to be heroic.

The draw back is that for much of the book you are wandering though mazes, which is a bit of downer.

The plot is good though - it makes use of several fairy tales, and the puzzles are a little more difficult.

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review 2018-11-24 16:37
Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vol. 3) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel
Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 3 - Ryoko Kui,Taylor Engel

This one took me a bit to get my bearings on since I hadn't realized that these guys would appear again and therefore hadn't really mentioned them in my past posts. I believe this volume starts with the same party that the series regulars came across back when they found the treasure insects. They're revived and continue on, only to be killed yet again by fish-men. The series regulars see them, are attacked by a kraken, and make a meal out of kraken parasite meat - kraken, as it turns out, isn't tasty like real squid. They also make a porridge using grain and waterweed collected from fish-men. Then Marcille

uses up all her mana battling an angry Undine. The party comes across an old party member, a female dwarf named Namari. With her help, they eventually defeat and eat the Undine, which restores Marcille's mana. After that, the party wears Giant Frog skins to survive a tentacle choked area.

(spoiler show)


This is still a creative and fascinating series, even if Laios' and Senshi's insistence on figuring out how to eat literally everything they come across in the dungeon is a bit ick. The kraken parasite meal made my skin crawl. (And Laios deserved what he got for eating one of those things raw.)

In this volume, readers learn that Marcille and Falin met in school - Falin was skipping class to read in a real dungeon, which she'd observed enough to learn a lot about (back to the whole "dungeon ecosystem" thing). Marcille, meanwhile, wanted to learn how to create a safe dungeon, a place with all the benefits of a real dungeon (access to goods that can only be grown or found in a dungeon) but without the danger.

As usual, the story got a bit ridiculous, but in ways that made sense. I laughed at the

"okay then, I'll just drink the Undine to fix my problems" part (only these characters would propose drinking or eating the thing that nearly killed them in order to continue on). And the frog suit was silly and gross, but otherwise a believable solution to their paralytic tentacle problem.

 

(spoiler show)

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-07-19 13:35
Review: The Carver by Jacob Devlin

 

THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.


***Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***

 

What’s Good: an decent twist on what’s becoming a clichéd, stale idea. Fantasy characters migrating to the Real World and having to return to save everything is nothing new. Author Jacob Devlin invests the tropes with a bit of new life, which is all you can ask for. He also works all the loose ends of the plot into a neat little package; at about 65% or so you’re all caught up. Chapters are short, making for fast and easy reading.

 

What’s Bad: all the inconsistency. The setting seems lifted- or should I say ‘inspired by’- practically every existing Disney cartoon. It’s more mish-mash than mashup; all manner of fictional and historical characters- including Merlin, Kaa the Snake, Dr. Frankenstein and Mulan- come and go in Fairyland but no rhyme or reason as to how they got there or how it all works- especially at the finale when some of the characters end up in yet another fantasy realm. It’s all there to support the story without consequence and you’re just going to have to roll with it.

 

Dialogue- like most everything about the book, it seems to be kind of all over the place, almost like it was written freeform. One moment characters are speaking proper, stilted language and the next they’re saying ‘wanna, gonna, ain’t, buddy…’

 

Typical of a mish-mash, the characters exhibit some of the dumbest behavior at the worst times simply to advance the plot. And it’s pretty tiresome. This kind of stuff isn’t heroic- it’s idiotic, and far too often a crutch authors lean on. How about smarter, more capable villains?

 

There’s also the plot device of telling the story out of phase, alternating between Real World Now for the current situation and Fairyland Three Years Ago or Fairyland Twenty-Five Years Ago to reveal the backstory. Just when you’d be in the flow of one scenario you’re thrown into another, breaking up the rhythm. And sometimes it’d take several chapters to return to a setting, so you may have forgotten a thing or two and have to go back.

 

What’s Left: some badly executed good ideas. Nuggets of a story that need sharpening up, otherwise this isn’t a Young Adult story but a Middle Grade one.

 

2.5/5 stars.

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